Richmond Terrace has been home to Vermont seniors since 1985. This affordable housing community consists of 16 apartments. Built to the average standards of its time and therefore never particularly energy efficient, the buildings condition had worsened over time: windows were leaky; ice damming (including 8' icicles!) was a recurring issue; the fuel oil boilers had reached the end of their useful life; utilities averaged $30,000/year and water rates doubled in the past year. Faced with these costs, comfort and building/systems maintenance issues, the Owner met with residents to assess comfort and energy issues and also partnered with Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity's (CVOEO) Weatherization Program, Vermont Fuel Efficiency Program (VFEP), and Efficiency Vermont to investigate the various problems and devise different solutions.
The renovated structure features upgraded insulation in the wall, attic, and slab edge as well as a new primary mechanical system using air source head pumps. Photovoltaics help offset the increased electrical load and new LED lighting further reduces electrical load. The new heating and cooling system is fully electric, making Net Zero a potential goal in the future. These efficiency upgrades helped recapitalize this project and ensure its future affordability, as it continues to be a warm and comfortable home to seniors for another 30 years.